Meet Uma Vaiyapuri from Chutney Devis

Tell us about your products.

We have one pot easy to make Indian meals, Kitchari, Lentil soup and our signature curry powder. All our products are vegan, gluten free, contains no soy, corn, salt, added sugar, additives and free of nuts. Our one pot meals contains a unique spice blend that adds flavor to our products. We hand pack all our products with love and care at 222 W.Ontario in Chicago.

Tell us about your connection to Chicago. 

We live in Chicago and pack all our products at our kitchen in River north.

What do you love about your business, your industry.

We love our business because we offer health and well being as part of our food. We love to serve our community with nothing but clean food. We are part of the hatchery which provides a community of people that are on a journey and values that are similar to ours. This is very affirming to what we believe.

Tell us about your design inspiration.

The food we create was inspired by Uma learning to cook from her father. He taught her to create amazing dishes that burst with flavor and spices. Our signature curry powder is Uma's mom's recipe and is the heart and soul of our food. Uma's mom roasted all the spices and blended it and it is the same recipe that is used in our curry powder. Uma and Vineeta created the Kitchari and Soup mix.

What advice do you have for other creative entrepreneurs?

Go for it. Have an idea try it. Don't be fearful of failure. There is nothing called failure, there is only creation and new ideas. If you fail in one idea, it means there is something else for you. We started with fresh food and eventually pivoted to these one pot meals.

Share a favorite quote, a mantra.  

There are no failures but opportunities.

Surprise us with your secret talent, fact, etc. 

Vineeta is an artist and Uma is a budding author.

What's the most common question you get about your business?

Is it spicy?

Tell us about your process for making + creating.

We slow roast all the spices and blend our curry powder. We grind and bottle them at Savory spice at Lincoln square. Kitchari and lentil soup - we mix additional spices (some roasted and some raw) along with our curry powder to make our signature blend one for the Kitchari and another for the soup. We make our labels for our pouches, label the pouches and fill them with Lentil, rice and spice blend for kitchari and a similar process for the soup.

Name 3 local makers/brands that inspire you and why.

Tea square, Mera Bites and Savory spice. Tea square and Mera Bites are part of the Hatchery Chicago too and inspire us by the way they have built their businesses. They use fair practices to create their product and are true to who they are. Their products are delicious and of high quality. They are someone we aspire to be due to the clean practices that they employ in creating their products. Savory spice is the best spice shop in town, David the owner is supportive, kind and sells clean products and is knowledgeable about the spices. Above all he grinds our spices and bottles them.

What is the best advice you've ever been given and how has it shaped you and your business? 

Don't worry about money it will come, continue on the path you have chosen.

Did you win a recent accolade for your business?

Yes, we were selected by Pea pod's next best on ABC7 and were selected in the 7th place. In spite of not being on the 1st place, we are proud to have come this far and having been able to get visibility through our products.

To discover more about Chutney Devis, click www.chutneydevis.net 

kendra chaplin